Calls to the suicide hotline grew by 50% following the rapper’s MTV Video Music Awards performance of the song which over five and a half million people watched. People joined Logic on stage in t-shirts that read “you’re not alone”, an important message for viewers.
“Hip Hop Therapy” is a form of music therapy that specifically considers the impact of the hip hop genre on its listeners. A diverse range of artists, beats, lyrics and musical forms fall within the hip hop umbrella. This means hip hop can work as a form of therapy for a wide range of people, including listeners as well as singers. The Hip Hop Therapy approach is called “positive visual imagery” and consists of a technique where a person listening to or making a song can visualize how they would like their future to look (a bit like manifestation), in an attempt to promote the person getting to a better mental space and feeling a greater sense of control. This sort of approach is most likely to be used by listeners of songs with a rags-to-riches narrative.
In a world where we are becoming increasingly aware of the prevalence of mental health issues and mental illness, using music to communicate honestly with fans around the globe means rappers can raise awareness about serious issues to do with mental health while listeners feel connected, heard and not alone.